At the end of last week’s episode, we all watched in incredulous marvel as Sister and Swindler rocketed off to the moon. They don’t make it very far before they hurtle back down to earth and have to work out what to do next. Separated from the other Akudama, Swindler decides to head back to her house, but soon after entering Kansai discovers that she’s become a public enemy. In other parts of Kansai, the separated Akudama begin to plan out their own next moves.
I have to admit, I was a bit surprised that Swindler thought she could just saunter into Kansai with no issue. I vaguely remember in an episode previous she had seen her name and photo with the other Akudama so she should have realised how high profile she had become. Although, it is a bit unfair to be hard on her for this. In such an insane situation, it’s fair enough for a character to want to return to where they feel safest – home. Completely lost and alone, unable to access the only safe place she knows, Swindler was pushed to the extreme in this episode. And within her, a new resolve develops.
Throughout the season, I would say that Swindler was kind of ‘along for the ride’. She was just an unlucky heroine trapped in a series of unfortunate events. But in this week’s episode she found who she wanted to protect and fight for, no matter what – the Brother and Sister. We’ve seen hints of how protective she is of them throughout the series, but in this week’s episode it’s become a much deeper connection. They have become her ‘family’, a place she belongs, her resolve is so strong that she’s even willing to risk her own life to protect them. Midway through the episode, Swindler cuts her hair. While the purpose is to hide her identity, it’s also a reflection of her coming into this new identity.
On a final note, I have to apologise to Hoodlum for doubting him. Turns out, he really did stab that Executioner! I honestly have no idea how he managed to pull that off, and from the sounds of it, he could have killed her if he hadn’t hesitated. I’m not sure what to think of him and Doctor teaming up – I have a feeling there won’t be a good ending for either of them.
As Akudama Drive heads towards its ending, each episode seems to become darker and more confronting. Swindler’s character has finally adapted to her circumstances, but while she’s become more ruthless, she hasn’t changed complete. At her core, she is still the sweet and kind girl that will try to return a 500 yen coin. I can imagine we’ll see a lot more characters change as they delve deeper into the dark underbelly of Kansai and Kanto. The real question will be – how many of them will crack under the pressure?